Monday, September 21, 2009

Of Fast Miles & Snake Bites

Friday I took my classmate, Jeff, out to Sugar Hollow to do some hard core speed work. Sugar Hollow as I've mentioned before is one of the few places in the Charlottesville area where there is enough flat ground to do some real interval work. Training on hills that have your heart rate approaching zone 5 while at a 15 minute mile pace make interval work pretty tough! So whenever Eric wants me to run at X heart rate for X miles or minutes I try and head out to Sugar Hollow to get it done.

Jeff was a varsity soccer player at University of Michigan and weighs about as much as my right quad. He's one of those disgusting natural athletes that can go out and run 7 minute miles without much training. So its great for me to work with him when I do speed work because I know I'm going to be pushed, and I know my competitive spirit is going to drive me to do better; its always more fun training with a good buddy too.

So Friday around 6pm Jeff and I started our run in that serene area. We began with a mile warm up at like an 8:55 pace. Then the rest of the workout proceeded as:

2 miles - zone 4b
1 mile - zone 5a
.5 miles zone 5b
3 minute rest interval between each speed interval

I was shocked with how fast the miles ticked off; we ran the first two miles at a 7:30 pace, the zone 5a run was done at a 6:55 pace and the last half mile was done at close to a 5 minute pace - in short; we kicked ass. The real fun started after the last 1/2 mile interval though. Jeff being the skinny munchkin he is wanted to run the last mile (my cool down) as fast as he could - he has aspirations of qualifying for Boston at the Disney World Marathon in January.

About 20 yards away from me I see Jeff launch into the air, perpendicular to the ground; he wasn't paying tribute to Michael Jordan as he screamed "holy f***k" as something lunged at him. He shouted back to me, "dude that's not a stick," so I ran on the other side of the road past the spot Jeff had just gone airborne over. Starring at me was the face of evil:

Waiting for Jeff in the middle of the road was a freaking copperhead snake! Had the snake gotten its fangs into my buddy's legs I would have been sucking out poison - as attractive as Jeff is, really he's just not my type. Freaking crazy, sometimes I forget how lucky I was to be living in the North East where I didn't have t worry about meeting my demise during a run in a remote wooded area.
The rest of my training went pretty well for the weekend, although riding my commuter road bike on the trainer is way more painful than Apollo ever was. I'll have pictures of my new black beauty as soon as it comes in from the factory. So on a weekend where I found my legs again, had some fun with friends and was able to run sub 8 minute miles again on Sunday I'm just thankful I didn't have to suck snake venom out of a friend's leg.


Senorita said...

Luckily here in my area there aren't many snakes, or if there are they are usually not poisonous.

Amanda said...

yeah, the only snakes i ever come into contact with have names like Paul or Michael or Jeremy :)

nice training, fast running!

Alison said...

*shudders* Glad no devenomizing was required!

PJ said...

I jumped just looking at the picture. I'd probably be relegated to a treadmill for at least a season (it would take me that long to get over it) after seeing one of those. Good thing I live in New England.

Nice work on the run.

Snake Bites said...

in Africa or Australia it's important if you're planning on walking in the wilderness or anywhere far removed from society it's important to be cautious while traversing in the wild. Most antivenins have to be refrigerated and those are your only real hope against the neurotoxins commonly found in snakes in your area. In the USA, you have hours to days to get treated depending on the severity of the bite, but in your area snakes can kill in less than 30 minutes. I guess, always have a cell handy